Rose Rosette Virus – An Update

rose rosetta virusBecause many of you have roses, I want to give you an update on Rose Rosette Virus.  According to an article published in the April 2016 issue of Grower Talks, this virus continues to be a growing problem.  It is specific to all roses, (none are known to be resistant), and is especially severe where large groups of roses, particularly multi-flora roses are grown.  The virus which originates in infected plants, is spread by an eriophyd mite and by propagation/pruning of infected plants.

Symptoms to look for include:

  • Pink/red elongated stems (aka canes).
  • Distorted buds and flowers.
  • Witches brooms, (abnormal growth) at tops of stems.
  • Thick distorted stems and excessive thorns. (Note – this may be confused with a mis-application of glyphosate (Round-Up)).
  • Stunting followed by defoliation and death.

So, what should you do?

  • Remove completely any infected plants and properly dispose as soon as any of the above noted symptoms occur.
  • Weekly monitor your plants.
  • To prevent the spread of mites, which occur during hot, dry weather, treat with an approved miticide.
  • When pruning your roses, sterilize the pruning blades by dipping them in a 10% solution of bleach each time before you make a cut.

Research is ongoing by the USDA, numerous universities, and rose growers seeking how to eliminate/control this pest.  For further updates, go to and search for Combating Rose Rosetta.

About AskthePlantMaster

I have 50 years of horticultural experience, am currently a Master Gardener in Central Florida. In addition, I'm a Horticulture Instructor and retired Parks Manager and Arborist. I love plants and would love to help you with yours!
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